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syntax Line breaks: syn¦tax
Pronunciation: /ˈsɪntaks/

Definition of syntax in English:


[mass noun]
1The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language: the syntax of English
More example sentences
  • This at least seems true in the limited sense that all human tribes, classes and even professions instinctively create their own vocabularies, phrases and even syntax.
  • Try to imagine a world without language; a world where words, grammar and syntax suddenly become meaningless.
  • The other thing that they're learning about is syntax, phrase boundaries and clause boundaries.
1.1A set of rules for or an analysis of the syntax of a language: generative syntax
1.2The branch of linguistics that deals with syntax.
Example sentences
  • It's too bad that (as far as I know) linguists who study syntax, semantics and pragmatics have not been involved in this enterprise to any significant extent.
  • The chapters that follow deal with vocabulary, syntax, onomastics, phonology, English grammar and usage and, finally, literary language.
  • The word is borrowed by analogy from the terminology of linguistic syntax.
2The structure of statements in a computer language.
Example sentences
  • At first, these new HTML authoring tools did little more than help us remember the arcane syntax of HTML.
  • It presents valuable, precise programming syntax and advice for every Linux programmer, whether you are a novice, intermediate or expert programmer.
  • He then gives you the three variants in syntax for the various UNIX systems the book covers.


Late 16th century: from French syntaxe, or via late Latin from Greek suntaxis, from sun- 'together' + tassein 'arrange'.

Definition of syntax in:
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